TMCNet:  Honeywell buys warehouse ID firm

[December 11, 2012]

Honeywell buys warehouse ID firm

Dec 11, 2012 (Star Tribune (Minneapolis) - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Honeywell International Inc. has agreed to buy warehouse ID and bar code firm Intermec Inc. for $600 million in cash and debt, officials announced Monday.


If the deal receives regulatory approvals, it will close by the end of the second quarter of 2013, said Honeywell spokesman Bruce Anderson.

Intermec, based in Everett, Wash., has 2,200 employees, 65 global offices and $810 million in 2011 revenues. It is expected to become part of Honeywell's Scanning and Mobility division in Fort Mill, S.C. That division reports to Honeywell's $15.5 billion Automation and Control Solutions (ACS) Business, which is based in Golden Valley.

Honeywell offered $10 a share for Intermec, whose shares had been trading for just under $9 recently. Intermec shares closed Monday at $9.83, up $1.83 or 23 percent.

With Intermec, Honeywell gains a company known for its ability to automatically track inventory inside giant warehouses and manufacturing plants. Products include mobile computing devices, bar code and radio frequency ID tracking products as well as label and receipt printers.

Honeywell's ACS president, Roger Fradin, said Intermec will strengthen Honeywell's scanning and mobile computing, while it also "opens up entirely new opportunities in radio frequency ID, voice solutions, and barcode and receipt printing segments that we currently don't serve." The automatic identification and data capture arena is "highly attractive" and is expected to add to Honeywell's earnings starting in 2014, Fradin noted.

Steven Winoker, a New York-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said that buying Intermec "is exactly the kind of thing that you want management to do. ... It's value creative." Honeywell shares fell 11 cents Monday to $61.86 as shareholders reacted to a less-than-robust 2013 earnings forecast. Honeywell CEO and Chairman Dave Cote updated his 2013 guidance for the entire corporation, which is headquartered in Morris Township, N.J.

Cote expects sales to grow from $37.5 billion in 2012 to between $39 billion and $39.5 billion in 2013. He forecast earnings of $4.47 per share in 2012 to grow to between $4.75 and $4.95 a share in 2013, including Intermec. That's below the $4.95 to $5.05 per share several analysts expected.

Analysts noted that Honeywell, which makes everything from thermostats and air filters to military jet navigation systems and missile defense products, could be affected by the global slowdown, the pullback in U.S. military spending and the fiscal cliff negotiations in Congress that will decide whether scheduled tax increases and spending cuts will hit the American economy on Jan. 1.

In a statement, Cote bypassed such concerns.

"We expect 2012 to be another year of strong execution for Honeywell," he said. "We're achieving good sales growth, record margins and double-digit earnings per share growth." For 2013, he said, the company is "planning for a continued slow-growth macro environment." This article contains information from Bloomberg News.

___ (c)2012 Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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